If you have watched TV news with any regularity over the last few years, you have almost certainly seen a touchscreen produced by Perceptive Pixel. Today, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring the company, which was founded by Jeff Han, for an undisclosed sum (TVNewser spoke to Han at the NAB show back in 2008).
It isn’t clear what Microsoft has in store for the company, which has built up an impressive client list of media companies, defense companies and government agencies. Microsoft says it wants to run its Windows 8 operating system on PPI screens, and it isn’t clear whether the existing software–such as its election tracker program–will follow. PPI also has a number of very important patents in the touchscreen space, which would help bolster Microsoft’s portfolio.
Perceptive Pixel produced the “Magic Wall” that started the whole cable news touchscreen craze on CNN back in 2008. ABC, Bloomberg, ESPN, Fox News, Univision and The Weather Channel also use displays from the company. Ironically, MSNBC originally used the “surface” touchscreen from its then-partner Microsoft, rather than a Perceptive Pixel display.